Sustainable fashion start-up Haru holds pop-up market at Portview Linen Mill

Haru, a Belfast-based clothing resale start-up, held a pop-up market at Portview Linen Mill this weekend. The Ulster University spin-out company aims to help charities and small businesses find fair prices for premium items of clothing.

Charities send premium items to the brand, who charge a subscription fee, and Haru sells the stock for them online. The aim is to “make as much money for the charity as possible”, according to co-founder Jaques Hill. Hill says that when people are buying online, “they want to know everything about it, they want to have the quality images you would see on ASOS.” Haru helps them create an online shop. “The average these items sell for at Haru is £30-£35, and in-store it could be £4-5”, he says.

The pop-up featured artwork from local artist Wee Nuls, and was busy with young customers buying pre-loved Doc Martens and Levi’s. “The younger generations, your Gen Z, care more than even millennials do about sustainability and buying second-hand,” says Hill – “adding one or two second-hand items to your wardrobe makes a massive difference”.

“I went to Ulster, and I started Haru while I was at Ulster,” Hill tells us. The company won the Ulster University Students’ Union Shark Tank in 2019. It has since gone on to secure £450,00 of investment from Covid-19 Equity Investment Fund and employs 24 members of staff. Hill says that in the future, buying second-hand “will be a part of day-to-day life”.